Poetic Math

Congratulations to the winners of MoMath’s limerick contest!  Enjoy the following original mathematical limericks selected by MoMath as part of the Museum’s contest in honor of National Limerick Day.

Allan Service

Some think Stats are too formal,
a body of tools so conformal.
Deviations are standard,
outliers left stranded,
and strange things called Normal.

Consider the power of Calculus,
Tools far beyond the abacus.
Leibniz/Newton notwithstanding,
Its fame is ever expanding.
The verdict is simply u–nan-e-muss.

Art Duval

There once was a man named Klein
Who thought that his bottle was fine
But when he looked for the inside
He found that it was outside
So it wouldn’t keep hold of his wine

Barry Hyman

The opposite side yields sine,
while adjacent gives cosine.
This you must dig
according to trig,
if triangles you want to design.

Caitlin M

oh the joy one can derive upon
traversing a hexaflexagon
with a pinch (just a little)
you can open up the middle
to a brand new configuration!

Christopher Miranda
submitted by Allan Collins

A mathematician called Klein
Thought the Möbius strip was divine.
He said if you glue
The edges of two
You get a nice bottle like mine.

Daphne Close

A rectangle once lived without care.
Along came a rhombus with flair.
They married with glee
And soon they were three.
Please welcome their cute baby square!

Harry Hillson

If you want to have a good time
Do not try to factor a prime
Just the number and 1
Is not very much fun
That’s why composites are sublime

Henry Blackford

“Archimedes’ Approximation of Pi”
Upon sitting to calculate Pi
Archimedes he thought he would try,
A polygon sandwich.
‘Twas quite a good plan which
Made him into one famous guy.

Jane Hillson Aiello

Calculus, algebra, geometry
Equations and theorems are Greek to me
I find math absurd
Cuz I’m a word nerd
I guess I’ll just stick to my poetry

Archimedes – original streaker
Ran naked while shrieking Eureka
Displaced in his bath
He was doing some math
If you try this at home use a beaker

Jennifer M. Prentice

We see our math teacher at 1.
He taught us that binary’s fun.
And you know that he’s proud
When he hollers out loud
And gives you a high 31!

Jennifer Truitt

The young girl had never liked pie.
And she never could figure out why.
Then one day in school
She learned a new rule.
And swore, “I’ll love Pi till I die!”

Jerrold Grossman

When you’re counting by ones for all time,
you will keep finding integers prime.
Some will differ by two.
Are there more than a few?
We don’t know yet the reason or rhyme.

The set of all sets that are not
contained in themselves tends to rot
the pillars that hold
the truth we are told.
Oh my, such a mess we have got.

Jerry Miccolis

Fermat and Pascal are fantastic
You may think I’m being sarcastic
But, Holy Bernoulli!
It’s mind-blowing, truly
To learn all there is … is stochastic!

Joel Zablow

Of Schrödinger’s cat much is said;
A cat, neither living nor dead.
The collapse of a wave,
Has the cat in the grave,
While also asleep on the bed.

Jonathan Matte

A mathematician named Pierre
Thought “I wonder if someone will care
If I say there’s a proof
And then (somewhat aloof)
Admit I can’t fit it in there.”

Kate Jones

There once was a mischievous thinker.
With the Game of Life he would tinker.
It irked John Conway no end
That his fame would depend
On dead or alive or a glider or blinker.

There once was an artist supreme
Whose geometry had a rare scheme:
Tessellations and creatures
And impossible features…
M. C. Escher created an infinite dream.

Larry Lesser

There is a cool New York museum:
Exhibits you just have to see ’em!
The square-wheeled trike rocks
Like programs and talks
That give our minds mo’ math and freedom!

“Limacon Limerick”
A point on a circle rolls ’round
A circle: this trace is profound!
Follow the norm
Of polar form
For beautiful heart you have found!

Liisamaija C. Flinner

“The Problem with Fractions”
Is equal the same as equivalent?
Similar to one penny or one cent?
“Of course!” shouted he.
“No way,” declared she.
“A dollar bill half is not fifty cents!”

Neil Cooperman

When multiplying numbers both negative,
It is best to teach after a sedative.
While the answer is positive.
It remains quite provocative
Just refrain from uttering an expletive.

Évariste Galois was no fool.
Polynomials were his great tool.
A political activist,
He challenged his antagonist,
And at twenty he died in a duel.

Phyllis Tashlik

As I contemplated parallel lines
I had doubts they would never entwine
While racing through space
Might they somewhere embrace
Romantically ending this rhyme?

Rajeev Raizada

Many kids find that math gets them down.
Blindly following rules makes them frown.
So let’s help them see
Stuff explained visually
Like in Desmos or 3Blue1Brown.

We tell kids “Hey, math can be fun!”
But mere words don’t convince anyone.
So when Covid’s all past,
To MoMath run fast,
And play puzzles and games by the ton

Sarah Thau

To infinity off this one goes
Nears the x-axis but then it slows
A curve brought about
As one end flattens out
Herein growth and decay juxtapose

This one is fun! It’s a wave!
This is how sine and cosine behave
They repeat without fail
Copying the same trail
Because circular patterns they crave

Stephen Garland

Cantor had an affinity
For matters of infinity.
Was the continuum
Next to the minimum
Or far out of its vicinity?